Education, Higher Ed, News

Sources: New UNC System President to be elected Friday

The UNC Board of Governors will meet in an emergency video conference Friday morning to hold an UNC System presidential election vote.

Two members of the board have confirmed to Policy Watch that the new president will be Peter Hans, current president of the North Carolina Community College System.

Policy Watch agreed not to reveal the board members’ identities so that they could discuss the confidential search process and closed-session deliberations.

Peter Hans

Board members think highly of Hans’s stewardship of the community college system. He’s also a former UNC Board of Governors chairman, having served three terms on the board. Before becoming head of the state’s community colleges two years ago he was an advisor to former UNC System President Margaret Spellings.

“He knows the system, he knows the board and he is proven as a leader,” one UNC Board of Governors member told Policy Watch Thursday afternoon. “We’ve been convinced we have the talent right here in North Carolina to elect a president. I think it is likely this will be a unanimous vote.”

Hans’s candidacy has been rumored for weeks. As the board’s selection committee held two days of interviews this week, the buzz that he would be the choice grew louder.

On Wednesday evening Durham attorney Greg Doucette, who was a board member during his time as a student, posted on Twitter that several sources confirmed Hans would be the next system president.

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper was scheduled to leave the system’s top leadership position at the end of June. In April, as the presidential search was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he agreed to stay until the search was concluded.

Roper has served as interim president since November 2018. Before that, he was CEO of UNC Health Care for 14 years and dean of the public health school at UNC-Chapel Hill.

As interim president Roper now makes $775,000 per year, with a $77,500 annual retirement contribution and the possibility of up to $125,000 in an annual performance bonus.

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